Rationality and Science in Japanese Political
I would like to point out the similarity between these passages and the one describing the dissolution of the public and the private in Tokugawa Confucianism. In both cases, politics is basically deemed to be the task of the leaders of the absolutist state. People would be involved in “politics” (if we can call it that) only insofar as it affected their private interests. We can say that this was a kind of “interest politics” in a negative sense.
True, the situation after 1945 was not the same as one before the war. Maruyama was well aware of that. Going through the democratization process, Japan acquired a real democratic polity. This meant that research in the field of Japanese political studies could have achieved its essential objectives. But, after long years of powerlessness, there was another problem with the study of politics in Japan. While it could be positively committed to investigations of political realities, there came a danger that political research was directly linked to particular factions and used as a means of political strife. Facing this problem, Maruyama suggested that scholars of politics had to admit that they were “existentially bound” and criticized the easy reliance on pseudo-objectivity. Here, the study of politics had to become a science of double meaning. First, it should not evade involvement with the real political world (contrary to the idealistic political studies of the pre-war period). In the second place, especially under the conditions of the post-war period, it must avoid the risk of shortsightedness common in ideological studies.